Should You Really Be Making Your Bed First Thing in the Morning?

Experts are saying you shouldn’t—here’s why.

River House Boys Bedroom with two twin beds and wood paneled walls
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Because the world just can't leave well enough alone, mattress experts have recently come out with this hot take: They say you shouldn't be making your bed first thing in the morning.

According to the UK-based Sleep Council, you sweat out a substantial amount of bodily fluid at night (around 10 fluid ounces). "If the moisture isn't given the opportunity to evaporate—and the mattress isn't being cleaned—it can breed bacteria and fungi," said Martin Gill, managing director of UK-based luxury furniture and bedding company And So to Bed, in a recent interview with Ideal Home. "This means that not only will your mattress not last as long, but it also puts the mattress owner at risk of being exposed to staphylococcus, enterococcus and norovirus, all of which have been discovered to be in dirty mattresses." The solution? Leaving your bed unmade, at least for the first few hours in the morning, as it gives your mattress time to breathe and the moisture a chance to evaporate.

This may seem like a small sacrifice to make (an unmade bed for a longer-lasting, cleaner mattress), especially given that all that moisture and bacteria sound objectively disgusting, but these mattress experts won't shake me of my bed-making ways.

As a child, I may not have appreciated the tidy hospital corners my parents taught me to fold, but as an adult, making my bed right after I wake up in the morning is a small habit that brings great joy. For me, there's no greater satisfaction than rolling out of bed and immediately making it—that's one thing ticked off my daily to-do list—and then being able to slide under crisp, tightly tucked sheets at night. I love how clean and pretty my bedroom feels with a made-up bed (those throw pillows weren't designed to litter the floor). And when my schedule is stacked or the world feels chaotic, making my bed first thing in the morning is a practice that grounds me; it takes only a few minutes and leaves me feeling centered and in control.

Perhaps I'm putting too much stock in a tidily made bed, but come hell or high levels of mattress bacteria, making my bed first thing in the morning is one habit I just won't quit.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles